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April 2008, Week 3


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"Varndell D." <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 13 Apr 2008 12:33:36 +0100
text/plain (46 lines)
David Lynch's 'Inland Empire', if you can stand it, is a good example. So too, albeit in a much lower-brow way, is Catherine Trammell's crime writing in 'Basic Instinct'.

Dan Varndell

From: Film and TV Studies Discussion List [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Barry Langford [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 11 April 2008 17:13
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [SCREEN-L] Metafictional Movies

I'm searching for examples of a rather specific kind of "metafictional" movie:
where a fictional narrative which either has been, or is in the process of being
created (written) by one of the characters features directly in the film, i.e. as
an interpolated dramatised sequence, or sequences. I'm not after backstage
musicals or plays-within-films (e.g., Bullets Over Broadway, Shakespeare In
Love) but fictions whose dramatisation occurs so to speak extra-diegetically.

I'd expect that the fiction-within-the-film would have some critical or
commentary relationship to the frame narrative. However, I'm not looking for
literary pastiches where a given fictive mode is adopted wholesale in a
narrative ostensibly centring on a writer identified with that mode (e.g.
Hammett), but texts where the boundary between reality and fiction remains
clear if porous.

The writer who obviously and consistently explores the kind of thing I'm
interested is Dennis Potter (The Singing Detective, Karaoke, etc.). The "Happy
Endings" sequence in New York, New York offers another take on the principle.
But I'm keen to accumulate further instances - suggestions gratefully received.

Thanks in advance, Barry

Dr Barry Langford
Senior Lecturer in Film & Television Studies
Royal Holloway, University of London
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